Behind every car, truck, and bike parked on the streets of downtown Langley for Saturday’s Langley Good Times Cruise-In was a back story.
And with more than 1,000 entries in this year’s massive show-and-shine fundraiser – with all proceeds supporting seven local charities – there were lots of stories to tell.
Here are three of them:
Tim and Lori Morrison parked their 1969 Camaro near Value Village.
The muscle car is equipped with a custom-built 350 cubic inch race motor, so needless to say, neighbours know exactly when it’s rolling home.
“Everybody hears us coming!” Tim said, laughing.
The car has been Lori’s family for a “lot of years.”
(Read more below)
“Her mom gave it to us and we restored it, and turned it into this,” Tim said.
Since they took possession of the car, the couple has put a new floor in it, redid the entire rear-window frame from the rear window to the trunk and underneath, and saved the front fenders and rear quarters “and did a lot of welding there,” Tim explained.
“So basically, we saved all of the messed up, rusty parts, and tried to keep it all original,” he added.
They take the car out as much as they can during the summer months.
“We go to a lot of shows,” Tim said. “We go up to the A&W in Maple Ridge religiously on Thursday. We’ve been going there since it started.”
Its paint job – LeMans Blue, the Camaro’s factory colour – is one of the Camaro’s most striking features. Tim was the man behind the spray can. He rented a paint booth at KMS Tools in Port Coquitlam, and was able to spray the car there.
“I built the motor, I painted it, I built the whole car,” he said.
This Camaro has been in Lori’s family since, she said, “1977, ’78.”
“My dad worked at Dueck on Marine and then purchased the car from there,” Lori said. “A little old lady traded it in and he snapped it up and gave it to my mother for their anniversary.”
The couple owns “lots of vehicles,” Tim said, but this Camaro, with 65,000 original miles on it, is their “Cruise-In and car show” ride.
“It hasn’t been driven much,” Tim said. “It’s actually geared for kind of a race set-up, so it doesn’t do too well on the highway, fuel mileage-wise. She tends to wind out a little bit.”
A short walk south took Cruise-In visitors to Bill Blackall’s 1968 Mercury Cyclone GT, a two-door fast back, adorned in competition orange (original colour) and powered by 390 cubic inch (6.4 litre) Big Block Ford engine.
Blackall bought the car new from Metro Motors in Port Coquitlam in 1968 and used it as his real estate daily driver in the Lower Mainland until 1973, then as a second family vehicle up to 1980.
This is when the story took a twist. Blackall sold the Cyclone to Chris Murray of Steveston, then re-purchased it from Murray in 1998 and stored it until 2000.
(Read more below)
When he re-acquired the car, it was in “bad shape,” Blackall said.
The Cyclone’s owner left it parked outside his house in Steveston for more than 10 years after the automatic transmission failed.
“It had been left out in the backyard under a tarp,” Blackall said. “It even had pinholes in the roof.”
Blackall said it took “10 years and a whole bunch of wheelbarrows full of money” to get the Cyclone restored to its original condition by W.S. Grover Auto Body in Richmond, using original Ford auto parts.
“I actually bought it [again] as a project to do with my oldest son,” Blackall said. “It didn’t work out that way. I worked on it for quite a while and then I realized it was a Unibody.”
Unibody construction is when there is no separate frame from the body of the vehicle.
“I’m not about to work on a Unibody because if you start cutting the floors out of a Unibody, it’ll spring and you’ll never get it back,” Blackall said. “After that I took it to the body shop and said, ‘here, you guys finish it.’”
Blackall said he drives the car “occasionally.”
– Files from Vancouver Sun
Swap meet find
Dave Tomlinson has strong ties with the Cruise-In.
A director with the B.C. Hot Road Association (BCHRA), Tomlinson found, and bought, his 1956 Chevy Bel Air at the Cruise-In’s swap meet in 2009.
The Bel Air with a distinctive tangerine orange and Escalade pearl white paint job was a eye-catching addition to this year’s car show.
“It’s hand-mixed three stage paint,” Tomlinson noted. “It’s kind of unique. This is probably the only modified four-door hard top that I’ve seen in the Pacific Northwest.”
(Read more below)
Since he bought the Bel Air, Tomlinson changed the wheels and added “little details” to it, such as adding an electric fan, changing the carburetor, and switching its tires over to Foose wheels, purchased locally from Langley OK Tire.
Tomlinson, who also owns a 1946 Ford that he uses to tour in, said the Bel Air handles “fantastic.”
“It’s a good driver,” he said.
Established in 1957, the BCHRA is one of the larger car clubs in Western Canada, with more than 300 members, now.
This is only the second time that Tomlinson has brought the car to the Cruise-In and noted that the BCHRA shows its vehicles at event to help promote the club.
Proceeds go to…
Beneficiaries of year’s event are: Langley Community Support Service; Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association; Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary; PuCKS; Boys & Girls Club; Douglas Park Elementary Association; and Legacy Water Search.